Speak Your Mind
Published November 24, 2018
About Speak Your Mind
No friends. No confidence. All mind.
Victoria Harding—the scared-silent girl of Grahamwood Junior High—survives the seventh grade from the confines of her mind. After her best friend moved away due to a secret Victoria can’t reveal, she’d rather sit alone at lunch and live in her imagination than befriend the classmates who joke that she’s plotting violence against the school. Between being called names and having a teacher who’s out to get her, Victoria’s confidence is at an all-time low, until she’s volunteered to escort her new neighbor around school. With the new kid showing up everywhere, will she finally find the courage to be heard again through their forged friendship? Will she forever be locked within the restrictive cage her doubts have created, or will she realize that relying on God is the only way to defeat her anxiety once and for all?
I’m kind of a sucker for the sweet, quiet girls who like rules– probably because I can really identify with that kind of person. Sometimes rules just make us feel safe.
Victoria is a layered character with a lot to offer. She’s got hurts and passions and so much inside her all bottled up. I liked that the events in the story gave her opportunities to push past her comfort zone and speak up, and that doing so created some really positive changes in her life.
But it sure wasn’t easy. And we sure didn’t have the whole story at the beginning! I think the way information is revealed– the pacing of it– was great in SPEAK YOUR MIND. It felt like all the pieces came together so that Victoria’s feelings and struggles made even more sense when everything came to light.
I have mixed feelings about the way that school administrators responded to the situation, though. It just seemed a little strange and maybe too gossipy? I also wondered why her parents didn’t ask for her to have a schedule change to address the conflict Victoria was having.
On the whole, though, I felt like SPEAK YOUR MIND was a fun read with sweet characters and positive lessons about confidence and speaking up.
Recommended for Ages 10 up.
I think the major characters are white and Christian.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Brief kissing between boy and girl.
Scenes show Victoria at church and youth group. Some references to prayer. She faces criticism for her faith from an adult in authority over her.
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